in Bookstores and
|Cowboys With Chrome
Pulitzer Prize Nominee
A Historical Explanation Of America's Most Popular and Unique Phenomenon
by William G. 'Lad' Carrington
as Americans are identified with the cowboy.
Not because people in other lands call us that, often in jest, but
because we have adopted the image for ourselves.
“From the outset, the range rider has embodied all of the virtues
and vices of the Anglo-American in one folk type (Frantz, 71).”
We aren’t stuck with this identity; we embrace it.
It is the basis of our pride and our confidence.
It’s the emotional backbone that makes it possible for us as a
country and as individuals to f ace adversity with a bravado that is
amazing to and unmatched in most other societies.
On the down side it is our deliberate identification with this
dubious and mythical figure that has helped get us branded in other parts
of the word as “The Ugly American”. As Americans, we are immersed in
this identify from birth. Think
back to your cowboy or cowgirl outfit that sooner or later almost all
children in the United States have. During
the late 40’s, America’s oldest, continuing, popular singing group,
the Sons of the Pioneers, still evoke images with their sad harmony in
Tumbling Tumbleweeds. Relax
in your most comfortable chair at home in front of your stereo and feel
the slight chill caused by the haunting lyrics of Ghost Riders in The Sky.
For good or bad, the mythical cowboy is our image.
An inseparable identity that will be with us and be uniquely
American for a long time to come.
|Those of us who have been riding a
very long time and go the long rides are linked by this common bond of
paint and chrome and leather. However,
those new riders among us, who are in the higher dollar brackets and buy
the really expensive machines, are making a real statement as well.
They work for places where they are in the uniform of corporate
America. A world of offices
and fluorescent lights. Many
are in sales and marketing and spend their days in cubicles.
Days are spent in meetings and phone calls, and churning out lots
of paper. They have now
discovered that the only free life left is one on two wheels.
They have slipped the shackles and even if it is only for a few
days, or even hours at a time, are enjoying the exhilaration of the
heady wine of having the wind on your face, the rank and file world at
your back, and the sweet taste of freedom on your tongue.
- From the Book Cowboys With Chrome Horses
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